John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 26, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939), East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception”. (Wikipedia)
Brilliance of John Steinbeck
A journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
No one wants advice – only corroboration.
Time is the only critic without ambition.
Those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, ae the traits of success.
There had been news which had been going around that Nora Aunor was to be officially recognised as the icon that she is.
It was a sure thing as thought by everyone. Afterall, every Filipino knows that Nora is interstellar in the acting world. In fact, it beggars belief why Nora has not been named as a National Artist at least 10 years sooner.
Anyway, Nora Aunor was finally included in the list of artists who were to be recognised for their contribution to the Philippine Arts. Some of the nominees, I have to admit, I have never heard of and their Wikipedia entries were minimal to say the least.
The last hurdle for the list was for the president of the Philippines to make his approval. Why the president, I do not know?!!! What does he know about art? He is no more au fait about arts than the next Filipino on the street. Therefore, the privilege of the final choice should not be given to just one person who could have a hidden agenda, thus instead of honouring deserving artists, would end up shamed and mortified, through no fault of their own.
As Filipinos, we are the nicest people in the world but once you hurt us, imagined or otherwise, we will remember. We will sow that seed of slight into our brains and nurture it until it grows into a gargantuan resentment and payback time is subconsciously planned, simmering at the back burner of our mind until one day we get to serve it with ferocious wanton delight. LOL Yeah, oh yes I know that feeling so much!
I think this was what may have led to what had happened to Nora Aunor, who was a known supporter of Ferdinand Marcos. PNoy in his mind is serving Nora her just desert!
How petty! Unfortunately for the president, PNoy might actually leave egg on his face!
Nora’s snub and humiliation is not only against her but also against Sining at Lipunan (Art & Society).
Nora Aunor, the woman with the Golden voice has more talent in her little finger than most Filipinos in arts and sciences. She can SING, she can dance and can act out anyone. So much talent for such a tiny lady.
It is a shame that PNoy’s presidency chose to ignore so much talent from someone befitting a National Artist. This action will have a long repercussion to his government.
Nora Aunor’s prodigious talents can be evidenced by Wikipedia
Nora Aunor has been awarded, recognized and received multiple nominations from different organizations, academe, institutions, critics and award giving bodies for her work in film, television, music and theater. She is the most nominated actress for the leading role in the long history of FAMAS Awards, having nominated 17 times since 1973 when she was first nominated for “Gift of Love” but only second to Eddie Garcia with 23 nominations both in leading and supporting role. With her fifth FAMAS Award for Best Actress in 1991, Aunor became the sixth performer to be elevated to the FAMAS Hall of Fame joining the likes of Eddie Garcia, Joseph Estrada, Charito Solis, Fernando Poe Jr. andVilma Santos. This award is given to the person who won more than five times in its particular category. Aunor is the only performer in the long history ofFAMAS Awards to be nominated for fifteen (15) straight years from 1973 to 1987.
As of 2014, Aunor is still the most nominated actress of Gawad Urian with 18 nominations and 7 wins and the very first best actress awardee. She is also the most awarded and the most nominated actress of Metro Manila Film Festival with eight (8) best actress trophies and from Young Critics Circle with nine (9) nominations and five (5) wins. She is also the only actress to win the best actress trophy from the Film Academy of the Philippines for 3 straight years. A feat yet to be equaled or surpass by a Filipino actress.
Aunor has the most number of international best actress awards and nominations more than any other Filipino actors. She is the only Filipino actress who have won international awards from 5 different continents. 19th Cairo International Film Festival in 1995 (Africa), 1st East Asia Film and Television Award in 1997 and Asian Film Awards in 2013 (Asia), 31st Festival International du Film Indépendant de Bruxelles in 2004 and Premio Della Critica Indipendiente in 2013 (Europe), Asia Pacific Screen Award in 2013 (Australia) and from the Green Planet Movie Award (North America).
Aunor, has the most Lifetime Achievement Awards received locally and internationally for her contribution in film, television, music, and theater.
The most nominated and awarded Filipino actress both locally and internationally.
The only Filipino actor with the most number of International best actress awards (Cairo 1995, East Asia 1997, Brussels 2004, Venice 2012, Australia 2012, Hong Kong 2013, Russia 2013), and nominations (Berlin 1983, Singapore 1997, Cairo 1999, Singapore 1999, Venice 2012, India 2012, Dubai 2012, Macau 2012).
The first and the only Filipino actor to win four (4) international best actress award for the movie Thy Womb in Italy, Australia, Hong Kong and Russia
The first Filipino actor to win an International acting award in a Major Film Festival (Cairo 1995 for the movie “The Flor Contemplacion Story”).
The first and only Filipino actor to receive an acting nomination from a Top-Tier International Film Festival (Berlin 1983 for the movie Himala, Venice 2012 for the movie Thy Womb, Goa, India 2012 for the movie Thy Womb).
The first Filipino actress to sit as juror in an International Film Festival (Hawaii 1996).
The only Filipino and Asian actress apart from China’s Gong Li to be featured by HBO, an American cable network, in a documentary film about the lives and achievements of the world’s greatest actresses (1997).
The Filipino actor with the most number of films competed and exhibited in different international film festivals.
Named by Cultural Center of the Philippines as the “Actress of the Century” in 1999
Named by YES! Magazine as one of the “Philippines’ 15 Best Actresses of All Time” in 2004
Named by S Magazine as the “Philippines’ Best Actress of All Time” in 2006
Named by the Manila Bulletin as One of the 110 Notable Filipinos in the Last 110 Years on the occasion of their 110th Anniversary in February 2010.
Cited in the book, Pinoy Pop Culture by Bench Corp. published in 2001 written by Gilda Cordero-Fernando
Named as One Of The Most Durable TV Icon of All time in 2006 (PINAKA, QTV-11)
Named as One of the Top 10 Movie Queens of Phil. Cinema – Unang Hirit Sept. 28, 2007 episode – GMA-7
Named as the Top Female Celebrity of Kislap Magazine for the last 45 years in its November 2007 issue
Named as the Most Amazing Rag to Richest Celebrity – PINAKA, QTV-11, June 13, 2010 episode
Named as one of the Most Famous Lola in Showbiz – PINAKA, QTV-11, Sept. 12, 2010 episode
Guy & Pip Loveteam was named Most Popular Loveteam of All Time, Unang Hirit, GMA-7, February 15, 2008 episode
Guy & Pip Loveteam was named as the Most Famous Loveteam of All Time – PINAKA, QTV-11, August 13, 2006 episode
Her classic film, “Himala” was named as the Best Film of the 80’s – PINAKA, QTV-11, November 26, 2006 episode
Her confrontation scene w/ Vilma Santos in the movie, “Ikaw ay Akin” was named as one of the 10 Most Dramatic Face Off in Phil. Movies, PINAKA, QTV-11, Nov. 18, 2007 episode
Her confrontation scene w/ Vilma Santos in the movie, “T-Bird at Ako” was named as the Most Dramatic Face Off in Phil. Movies, PINAKA, QTV-11, Nov. 18, 2007 episode
One of the 101 Filipino Icons, a book by Bench Corp. published in 2007 by Ani Rosa Almario and Virgilio S. Almario
Cited as One of the People in Entertainment Industry Who Help Define the Century in 2006 by Glitter Magazine, Jan. 2006 issue
One of the Top 100 Stars of Philippine Cinema by Mario Bautista (Manila Times) Dec. 23, 1999 issue
One of the Best Ever Filipino Film Actresses by Nestor Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct. 30, 1999 issue.
One of the 100 Women of the Philippines: Celebrating Filipina Womanhood in the New Millenium in a book with the same title by Abe Florendo, Oct. 1999
One of the Philippine Icons of the 20th Century, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dec. 26, 1999 issue
One of the Top 5 Best Actresses in Local Films, selected by top entertainment editors & columnists of Phil. Daily Inquirer, Oct. 28, 1999 issue
One of the 20 Most Influential Persons in the Philippines, The Philippine Yearbook 2000
One of the Best Things About Pinoy, Sunday Inquirer Magazine, June 14, 1998 issue
One of the Faces of the Century, Timeless Tales of Beautiful Women in a book with the same title by Jorge Llanes, 1998
One of the Most Admired Filipinos for the Last Four (4) Centuries, Isyu Magazine, Jan. 27, 1998 issue
Named Actress of the Century by respected columnist, Ronald Constantino published in Tempo and Malaya, Dec. 27, 1997 issue
One of the Most Significant Filipino in the 20th Century in the TV show Tatak Pilipino of ABS-CBN, 1991
Named by Audrey Magazine (The Asian- American Women’s Lifestyle Magazine) as one of the Ten timeless Filipina Actresses. She topped the list among other filipina actresses (March 25, 2013)
The only Filipino actor honored by the City of Kileen, Texas U.S.A. with a “Nora Aunor Day” (September 23, 2006)
The only Filipino actor honored by the City of San Francisco, California, U.S.A. with a “Nora Aunor Day”(May 21, 2004)
The actress was honored by the Office of the Governor of Las Vegas with a “Certificate of Recognition for Phenomenal Talent and Extraordinary Performance” (March 31, 2006)
Himala was the first and only Filipino film ever to qualify in the Competition Section of the Berlin International Film Festival (1983). For its international accolades, it bagged 1983’s Bronze Hugo Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Himala was the lone Filipino film chosen by CNN as one of the ten best Asian films of all time from the provisional list of 18 great films (September 2008). CNN cited “Himala” for its “austere camera work, haunting score, and accomplished performances that sensitively portray the harsh social and cultural conditions that people in the Third World endure.”
Himala was awarded the CNN APSA Viewers Choice Award for Best Asia-Pacific Film of all Time (November 14, 2008)
Himala restored version was premiered at the 69th Venice International Film Festival under the Venizia Classici Section.
The Flor Contemplacion Story grossed US$ 3.3 million in its domestic and international exhibitions, making it one of the highest-grossing films in Philippine history.
Bona was cited as one of “The Best 100 Films in the World” by the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, USA (1997).
Bona is the ONLY FILIPINO FILM to be archived at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
One of the 15 Women in Showbiz who made Pinoys Proud by PEP in celebration of Women’s Month, March 2014
“Thy Womb” competed &/or exhibited at the following int’l film festivals: 69th Venice International Film Festival (COMPETITION), Venice, Italy; 37th Toronto Int’l Film Festival (World Cinema), Totonto, Canada; 17th Busan Int’l Film Festival (Window on Asian Cinema, Busan, Korea; 6th Ferra de Tutti Film Festival (Exhibition), Bologna, Italy; 50th Vienna Int’l Film Festival (Exhibition), Vienna, Austria; 2012 Brisbane Int’l Film Festival (Exhibition), Brisbane, Australia; 43rd International Film Festival of India (COMPETITION), Goa, India; 2012 Golden Horse Film Festival (Exhibition), Taipei, Taiwan; 9th Dubai International Film Festival (COMPETITION); 8TH Movies Festival World Edition, Poland; 14th Bratislava International Film Festival (Panorama Section),Slovakia; 20th Plus Camerimage Int’l Film Festival of D Art of Cinematography (Exhibition), Bydgoszcs, Poland; 6th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA)Winner: Best Actress, Best Director Award, Brisbane, Australia; 16th Tertio Millenio Film Festival (Exhibition), Rome, Italy; 12th Marrakech Film Festival, Morocco (Exhibition); 24th Forum Des Images Festival, Paris, France; 55th Asia Pacific Film Festival (COMPETITION)Macau, China; The Wadsworth Atenaeum Museum of Arts, CT, USA (Jan. 24-27 2013); Perth Film Festival, Perth, Australia (Jan. 2013); 7th Asian Film Awards, Hong Kong, March 2013 Winner: Best Actress; 15th Deuville Asian Film Festival, France; 37th Hong Kong Int’l. Film Festival; 20th Prague Int’l Film Festival, Czech Republic; 1st ASEAN Int’l. Film Festival Awards, Malaysia (Exhibition) March 2013; 18th Vilniaus Intl. Film Festival, Lithuania (Critics’ Choice Section) March 2013; 11th Reggio Emilia Asian Film Festival, Italy (COMPETITION) April 6–11, 2013; 5th CPH PIX (Exhibition), Copenhagen, Denmark April 11–24, 2013; 10th Int’l. Independent Film Festival (IndieLisboa)Lisbon, Portugal,April 18–28, 2013; 12th Transilvania Int’l. Film Festival, Bucharest, Romania, May 31-June 9, 2013; 3rd Asian Film Festival, Rome, Italy May 10–31, 2013; 7th Festival de Granada Cines del Sur, Granada, Spain, June 9, 2013 (COMPETITION)/ 4th World Cinema Amsterdam Int’l. Film Festival, Netherlands August 7–19, 2013 (COMPETITION); Southeast Asian Film Festival (Regional Intersections 2013) Canberra, Australia, Sept. 5-19, 2013 (Exhibition); 2013 OzAsia Film Festival, Adelaide, Australia – Sept. 13-29, 2013 (Exhibition); 3rd Sakhalin Int’l Film Festival, Russia (COMPETITION), August 23–30, 2013; 33rd Hawaii International Film Festival (Filmmakers in Focus) October 10–20, 2013; 5th London IFF (Exhibition);13th Festival Women’s World, Tuebingen, Germany (Exhibition) Nov. 20-27 2013; Around the World in 14 Films, The Berlin Festival of Festivals (Exhibition), Berlin, Germany, Nov. 29 to Dec. 7, 2013; Lua Prabang IFF. Laos, Dec. 7-11, 2013 (Exhibition); Philippine Official Entry, 71st Golden Globe Awards, Hollywood, California
In 1968, Nora Aunor was contracted by Alpha Records upon the recommendation of singer Carmen Soriano. Although Aunor’s first singles were not major hits, she subsequently went on to smash local record sales with songs like “It’s Time to Say Goodbye”, “Silently”, “Forever Loving You”, “It’s Not Unusual”, and countless others. In her seven years with Alpha Records, Aunor was able to set all-time high record sales which up to this day has not been surpassed. At the height of her popularity as a recording artist in the late 1960s and early 1970s, local records soared up to 60% of national sales according to Alpha Records Philippines.She is the artist with the most singles in Philippine recording history (with more than 260 singles). Over-all she has recorded more than 500 songs. She has notched more than 30 gold singles, a record in the local music industry. With estimated sales of one million units, Nora’s cover of “Pearly Shells” (1971) is one of the biggest-selling singles in the Philippines ever. Nora has also recorded some 46 hit long-playing albums, and several extended plays.
At the height of her popularity as a recording artist in the late 1960s and early 1970s, sales of local records soared up to 60% of national sales according to Alpha Records Philippines.
She is the artist with the most singles in Philippine recording history (with more than 260 singles). Overall she has recorded more than 500 songs.
She has notched more than 30 gold singles.
With estimated sales of one million units, Nora’s cover of “Pearly Shells” (1971) is one of the biggest-selling singles in the Philippines.
Nora has also recorded some 46 hit long-playing albums, and several extended plays.
In 1999, Nora was cited as one of the 100 Great Filipinos in Music, in an article written by Baby Gil at Phil. Star, Nov. 24, 1999 issue.
Another scrumptious recipe from our favourite GMAnetwork channel television. The recipe below is apparently for Jose Rizal.
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896)
Probably not really for him as he has been dead for more than a century. He was executed by the orders of Spaniards at Bagumbayan (always be known to be as Luneta or Luneta Park, which is now known as Rizal Park) more than a century ago for alledged inciting Filipinos to take up arms against the Spaniard, who had colonised the Philippines for 333 years.
Filipinos honour Rizal for his many accomplishments, his intelligence, his novels, his arts, his knowledge, his medical background and most especially for inspiring common Filipinos who had been downtrodden and enslaved by the Spaniards.
Rizal has a an exhaustive written materials that includes his two novels, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Filibuster) which so inspired the likes of Andres Bonifacio (Jury is still out, whether he should really be the National Hero and not Rizal) that he founded KKK (Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangan Katipunan ng Mga Anak ng Bayan – my rough tanslation being: Highest, Most Honoured Organisation of the Children of the Nation, LOL).
2 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 3-inch cubes
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or calamansi juice)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large potatoes, sliced into French fries
2 large onions, sliced in rings
1 tablespoon spring onions, chopped
3 tablespoons oil cooking oil for deep-frying
Marinate the beef in calamansi juice, soy sauce, Japanese soy sauce, salt and pepper for 30 minutes.
Heat oil, sear the beef on both sides.
Simmer the marinade and the beef until tender.
On another pan, deep fry the potatoes until crisp.
Fry onions for a minute.
Place the cooked beef on a plate and arrange potatoes on top together with the onion rings.
Sprinkle with spring onions.
– See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/idolsakusina/articles/2014-06-09/10649/Recipe-Karneng-Asada-para-kay-Jose-Rizal#sthash.hKt2SPYn.dpuf
I read this book in high-school as part of the school curriculum. I seemed to have forgotten most of the plot but I remember it was very good. 🙂
I saw this book still prominently displayed at the National Bookstore in Manila last year and I thought I buy it and reread it once again and perhaps get a better perspective of what the story was about after all it does need a bit of special attention, it being one of the books that propelled and inspired Filipino ancestors from the 18th/19th century to take up arms and fight for independence against the 333 years of Spanish tyrannical colonisation of the Philippines.
This Noli Me Tangere version is in Tagalog. I must admit, having gotten used to thinking, speaking, watching and reading English all the time, this version takes getting used to reading pure Tagalog once again. And this Tagalog version is the old fashion kind. As I said it takes getting used to it again. I kept stopping almost in every sentence to admire and mentally practise saying words that have become archaic in my everyday vocabulary. It is a nice feeling going over each word.
I think it was Jose Rizal himself who said:
Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika ay daig pa ang malansang isda.
The english literal tanslation is “Those who do not love their own language are worse than rotten fish!
No Siree I do not really want to be one of those rotten fish! LOL
Today’s Google Doodle is an animation of Grace Hopper sitting on her computer, using COBOL to print out her age. Google is celebrating the 107th birthday of Grace Hopper, the “mother” of the COBOL computer language.
“‘all Navy’, but when you reach inside, you find a ‘Pirate’ dying to be released” – Jay Eliot
Just toward the end of animation a moth was seen coming out of the computer; that was a reference to Grace popularising the term “debugging”. Apparently whilst in the Navy and working on a Mark II computer, it was found that a moth was stuck in the relay, which was impending the system, quick as a flash Grace said they are debugging the system.
The remains of the moth can be seen at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.
Grace lived a full and hectic life.
At a very young age, she showed a very inquisitive mind. At the age of seven, she tried to find out how clock works and managed to disassemble seven of them much to her mother’s consternation. In the end she was only allowed to touch one clock. LOL
Grace was a Vassar girl but at 16 she was declined entry to the College because she had a low score in Latin. She got admitted the next year and went on to earn bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Physics. She then went to Yale University and became a history maker for becoming the first woman to graduate with a doctorate in Maths in Yale’s long history.
Grace Brewster Murray, as she was, married Vincent Foster Hopper, a New York professor in 1930. The marriage ended in divorce in 1945. Grace never married again thus retaining her ex-husband’s surname. Grace Hopper has a memorable ring to it.
Grace Hopper, to me, was like a grasshopper. She leaped from one success to another. She leaped from one awards to the next.
Even her retirement was one of the longest hopping in history. She first retired at 60 but was recalled almost immediately and then retired again and then recalled and then retired and then recalled………
If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.
— Isaac Newton
Thought of the Day
30 October 2013
What a lovely quote from the genius of all geniuses. He was saying that he owed and was inspired by the intellectuals before him for his own achievements. What an unassuming fellow Newton was. 😉 What a guy!
Probably Newton was musing about this, thinking about Aristotle, Pythagoras, Galileo, Kepler, etc while sitting under an apple tree when he was boink by apple because of gravity. hmmmmmmmm
I think the internet is in the top 10 of best inventions of all times.
Thanks to Tim Bernes-Lee, inventor of the worldwide web, almost any information is just a click of a button away.
This morning I suddenly got to thinking of Hippocrates.
Having watched many hospital drama, I am more or less aware of the Hippocratic oath where you have to be respectful of the patient’s life above all else whether he is a friend or a foe, irrespective of what he has done, of his religion or politics etc.
Below is a witty article about the Hippocratic Oath
A guide to the Hippocratic Oath
By Dr Daniel Sokol
Hippocrates: the father of modern medicine?
When I asked my medical students to name famous doctors in the history of medicine, their first answer was Harold Shipman, the GP who murdered hundreds of patients.
I nearly swallowed my tongue.
Their second answer was House, the fictional doctor from the American TV series.
Tears of frustration welled up in my eyes.
Their third answer was Hippocrates, presumed author of the Hippocratic Oath – I breathed a sigh of relief.
Written nearly 2,500 years ago, the Oath is the most famous text in Western medicine, yet most people (including doctors) know precious little about it.
One GP recounted the story of an elderly patient who believed the Oath instructed doctors never to tell patients the truth. It contains no such advice.
Here is a brief guide to the Oath.
The Oath starts: “I swear by Apollo the physician and by Asclepius and Hygieia and Panacea… to bring the following oath to fulfilment.”
Apollo, the god of healing, fell in love with a human, Coronis.
I will use treatments for the benefit of the ill in accordance with my ability and my judgment, but from what is to their harm and injustice I will keep them
In his absence, Apollo sent a white crow to look after her.
When the crow informed Apollo that Coronis loved another man, Apollo’s rage turned the crow black.
To avenge her brother, Apollo’s sister shot Coronis with an arrow and, as she lay dying, Coronis told Apollo that she was bearing his child.
Although Apollo could not save Coronis, he rescued the unborn child, Asclepius.
Hygieia, the goddess of health, and Panacea, the goddess of cures, are the daughters of Asclepius.
According to legend, Hippocrates was a descendant of one of Asclepius’ sons.
Doctors taking the Oath would doubtless have been inspired by this illustrious lineage of healers.
The next section instructs the doctor to treat his teachers as his parents, and to pass on the art of medicine to the next generation of healers.
In a pure and holy way, I will guard my life and my art and science
The Oath continues: “And I will use treatments for the benefit of the ill in accordance with my ability and my judgment, but from what is to their harm and injustice I will keep them.”
In other words, doctors should act in the best interests of their patients, and when unjust circumstances arise – for instance, a certain life-prolonging drug may not be available on the NHS – they should strive to correct the injustice harming their patients.
The next part seemingly concerns euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, saying: “And I will not give a drug that is deadly to anyone if asked, nor will I suggest the way to such a counsel.”
Two leading scholars of the Oath, Littre and Miles, have however suggested that this passage alludes to the then common practice of using doctors as skilled political assassins.
Steven Miles notes: “Fear of the physician-poisoner may be traced very close to the time of the Oath.”
The word “euthanasia” (meaning “easeful death”) was only coined a century after the writing of the Oath.
The text continues: “And likewise I will not give a woman a destructive pessary.”
This passage is often interpreted as a rejection of abortion.
However, abortion was legal at the time and the text only mentions pessaries (a soaked piece of wool inserted in the vagina to induce abortion), not the oral methods of abortion also used in ancient Greece.
As pessaries could cause lethal infections, the author of the Oath may have had a clinical objection to the method, rather than a moral objection to abortion itself.
The next sentence – “In a pure and holy way, I will guard my life and my art and science” – is a call for professional integrity.
Doctors should refrain from immoral behaviour and resist the temptations that accompany their privileged position (today, from drug companies offering generous gifts, for example).
The Oath continues: “I will not cut, and certainly not those suffering from stone, but I will cede this to men who are practitioners of this activity.”
Another common misconception is that the Oath forbids surgery.
About whatever I may see or hear in treatment, or even without treatment, in the life of human beings, I will remain silent, holding such things to be unutterable
In fact, it instructs doctors to acknowledge the limits of their competence and to refer cases to more specialised practitioners.
Next, the doctor enters the patient’s house: “Into as many houses as I may enter, I will go for the benefit of the ill, while being far from all voluntary and destructive injustice, especially from sexual acts both upon women’s bodies and upon men’s.”
The need for such a statement reflects the wide distrust in healers at the time.
In a competitive marketplace where quacks abounded, it was necessary to reassure the public that doctors would not exploit patients.
The penultimate section deals with confidentiality and reads: “And about whatever I may see or hear in treatment, or even without treatment, in the life of human beings, I will remain silent, holding such things to be unutterable.”
As today, patients in ancient times shared deeply personal information with doctors on the assumption that their details would not be revealed to others.
Without this trust, patients may withhold facts that would help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis.
The text ends with the rewards that await those who respect the Oath (“the benefits both of life and of art and science, being held in good repute among all human beings for time eternal”) and the punishment of those who do not (“if, however, I transgress and swear falsely, the opposite of these”).
This whistle-stop tour of the Oath gives some idea of the content and spirit of this ancient text.
In an age of technological developments, cosmetic surgery, complementary medicine, drug companies, and many other temptations for patients and doctors alike, the spirit of the Oath is as relevant as ever.
• Dr Daniel Sokol is a medical ethicist at St George’s, University of London, and Director of the Applied Clinical Ethics (ACE) programme at Imperial College, London.
I swear by Apollo the Physician and Asclepius and Hygeia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:
To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parent and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art—if they desire to learn it—without fee and covenant; to give share of precepts and oral instruction and all other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but to no one else.
I will apply dietetic measure for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and in holiness I will guard my life and my art.
I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.
Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.
What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about.
If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite be my lot.
—Translated by Ludwig Edelstein
Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases.
To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy.